I sent out an e mail to friends all over the country asking them how the voting process was going in their neighborhoods. I didn't ask for political affiliations and I tried hard not to proselytize. Here are some responses:
GROVE CITY, OHIO: We voted early, on Friday at 5:30 in the morning. The line was long and though no obvious electioneering was going on, I had a strong sense of Democratic leaning in the crowd. Not to mention we were among the color minority in line, which is an odd and yet appreciated experience having grown up in white middle class America.
NEW YORK CITY: Dirty trix. Voter fraud. Fascist chicanery. Let us pray. But to whom or what?
BROOKLINE, MA: No problems at all where I voted this morning: arrived at 9:20, was on my way to work 40 minutes later, which is the same amount of time it typically takes in my neighborhood. ....totally sick of paying attention to polls, commentators, etc.
TUCSON, AZ: I was at OSU for grad school in 1969-70 and was vice chair of the local chapter of the SDS, organizing a dozen bus loads of Buckeyes for the Vietnam moratorium in Washington, DC in Nov.'69....Arizona is actually in play for Obama. I voted early so avoided today's long lines. I'm a lawyer volunteering for Obama and I have had no calls today about any serious problem at the local polls.
CALIFORNIA: I had no wait when I went to vote between 3:30 and 4:00, actually had a choice of two booths. The line where I was to sign my name was more than halfway down the page and every name above mine was marked as having received a mail-in ballot. The state is expecting more than a million voters over the 2004 level. There was lots of sign waving on street corners as I went about my day...An article in today's paper is predicting tomorrow as the biggest "day after Christmas" letdown. The presents were more interesting before they were opened.
VIRGINIA: Thank you, Ohio. Virginia helped too, turning Blue for a nice change from its customary Red.
WEST CHESTER, PA: I did what the collective wisdom called for....waited for the poor bastards who have to commute to work to finish their early AM voting. I arrived at the polls five minutes before nine. I had peed...and brought a book, a tiny portable TV, my blackberry, bottled at er and a snack. I wore my most comfortable shoes, but left home the little fold up camp stool...that was a little to geek wimp. I was ready to vote! MY polling place is typical Chester Springs....located in a private country school. I had amazing parking karma...a young woman who was leaving told me the wait was two hours. She was appropriately dressed to stand in a long line with heels that would only be loved by a fan of "sex and the City". OUCH. But you had to give her credit, she voted and she wore her Dolce and Gabbanas.....Everyone i line was animated and uncharacteristically chatting with everyone and anyone as a long wait was anticipated. To my astonishment a poll worker came down the line to tell us that anyone whose name was between N and Z could move up to the right....My vote experience lasted all of ten minutes. I took my time to fill in EVERY vote and went over it three times to make sure my vote COUNTED with a SHOUT when it went through the scanner. My receipt was torn off the bottom of my vote and I took it in both hands like I had been handed the original copy of the Declaration of Independence.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK: I just learned that two members of my family voted for McCain and two didn't vote at all. I am horrified. HORRIFIEDDDDDDD!
WAYLAND, MA: Voted after the commuters, at ten. No lines in our leafy village, but a steady stream of people at the town building. All the UUs were out, singing sixties songs and marshaling the sign hoisters....one of these good Christian types tried to draft me into the UU choir, nothing doing buddy, my choir days are over.
We all awaited the arrival of local state senate hopeful, on Ms. Orozco, for whom we have worked and upon whom we have showered our largess. A greenie. No show. Phooey. I just realized I voted with my Obama button in plain sight which is against the law but I assume vote will count. Nobody wrestled it from my grandmotherly boozum....Not that voting Dem around here means much. But it was sooooooo satisfying to make my little Sharpie marks...Maybe I'll finally sleep tonight; hopefully after the long awaited dance in the streets.
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The war is over. We have overcome.
SEATTLE: I live in the bluest area of a cobalt blue city in a blue state.
This morning at 10 my son and I (my wife voted absentee) waited for 15 minutes to vote, something that has never happened to me in the 25 years I have been voting in the same precinct...I was upset about Barack's grandmother too. I thought she would hold on, as old people often do, until after the election. It must have been really painful for him, but as my assistant said maybe she thought she could do more good up there than in Hawaii.
MASSACHUSETTS: I voted at 7:30 AM, expecting a crowd...it certainly wasn't empty but no lines. Since I can walk there, I was going to take the dog but at the last minute, thought better of it. Here in MA, we voted not to get rid of the state income tax, and to lighten the crime of marijuana possession and to ban greyhound racing. I'm all in favor of dogs, but I fear the animals will jut be shipped to a state where they have fewer retirement benefits...nothing is all that simple.
COLCHESTER, CONNECTICUT: Here on the street word is that the Irish guy is going to win here. No, not the Mac guy. O'Bama. Chances are, anyway. Double digit leads in the polls, and all....My wife and I, along with out 19 year old daughter, braved the epic lines at Colchester Town Hall to cast our ballots. There was one other dad-about-town approaching the front door as we arrived....he made a big deal about how there was no line to wait in. He'd been there since 6 and the line was ridiculous. Sue and I marked the appropriate ovals on the 8-1/2 x 11 card ($.025 each the registrars told us when Cait registered last month) and fed them through the scanner. We greeted friends and neighbors and waited for our college kid to complete her ballot. Taking a long time here, what's up? Oh, turns out the kid marked a couple of names on one of the major party lines and then realized that they were endorsed by third parties, and wished she had marked those ovals instead. Oh, well. Vote and learn. I walked out of Town Hall because my oldest kid had voted. My life has served a purpose.
CHEMNITZ, GERMANY: Enough of this e mail shit. I need a telephone number! Please send me yours!